What “Should” Artists Do?

Dr. Daniel Schnee



Recently I asked a fellow artist if she had any creative topic she wished me to write about, and her response was completely fantastic… replying “I would like to hear your thoughts about resistance… that thing that stops a person from doing what they should be doing. This is such a perfect question!!

I see and hear questions like this all the time, although usually phrased in highly pretentious ways by academics who have no true feeling for art and design, like art must always be this serious business whispered about in hushed tones in the back corners of libraries filled with books on Post-post-post-postModernism! So it is a great joy for me to be able to clear the air here and pull back the curtain on the ‘pretense’.

Pretense No. 1: “Art Is Serious”.

Between May 22, 1959 and March 27, 1961 my saxophone teacher Ornette…

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2017 Reads

The year is almost over.  I can’t remember much of what I’ve read this year…probably because I fell off again but I’ll make an attept to recall.

Blogs – I have gotten back into reading the blogs I am following.  I don’t know if that counts but they are what I’ve been consistently reading for the past few weeks.

The Forge literary magazine: https://www.forgelitmag.com/flm/category/content/

Some books I can recall reading are:

The Kebra Nagast The Lost Bible of Rastafarian Wisdom and Faith from Ethiopia and Jamaica by Gerald Hausman, Introduction by Ziggy Marley

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

A few books from the King James version of the bible:  Ester, Ruth

The Complete Works of Lao Tzu – Tao Teh Ching & Hua Hu Ching (I only read the Toa Teh Ching so far) translation and elucidation by Hua-Ching Ni

Martial Arts Teaching Tales of Power and Paradox by Pascal Fauliot

The Iron Flute (not finished this) by Nyogen Senzaki

Calvin and Hobbes comics by Bill Watterson  – The Essential Calvin and Hobbes, The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes, Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons, Calvin and Hobbes Sunday Pages 1985 – 1995

Far Side Gallery 1, 2 and 3 by Gary Larson


Dead leaves

Dead leaves float away from trees

A single ship crosses the sea

Raises its sail to catch the breeze

These beautiful things I see

But still

I can’t let go of the disgust I feel within

Help me

Help me


The leaves no longer green and bright

Instead covered in a film of white

They’re browning from the outside in

Some filled with holes, some withering

Is this decay for me a sign?

Tell me

Tell me


Today, I feel to live no more

22nd January, 2017

Alone in a crowd

I bury myself in the world of music

Headphones on my ears a constant companion

Seemingly as mandatory as the clothes that cover my skin

Content I may seem to be

Humming or quietly singing along with the melody

Moving to the rhythm while I sit

And often times there is indeed pleasure in those moments

But simultaneously I’m simply hiding under the guise of being self absorbed in a favorite hit

No different from the shy but curious girl with her mother’s skirt as her shield

If I’d allow you to look in my eyes it would reveal

That what I crave, maybe even need, is for you to…

Come up to me

Interrupt me

Allow me not to wallow in isolation

Pull me out of my comfort zone

Engage me in conversation

When I fall silent, ask questions

When I run out of answers, teach me something new

Make me smile

Make me laugh

Make me think

Whatever you do

Don’t leave me to continue to run away from interactions

If I allowed you to gaze into the windows to my soul, all this it would reveal

But I’m good at keeping my eyes down so my hidden feelings remain concealed

And despite the growing crowd, alone I continue to feel

Commenced: 28th September, 2016

Concluded: 1st October, 2016


My body I would gladly give to you

But it comes not in isolation

My mind, heart and soul also require your attention

Are you willing to help me heal?

Are you able to stroll on this beaten road with me?

Will you help me when I stumble?

Will you point me to the light of hope when my tunnel vision only lets me see the walls that crumble?

You promised me you will not deceive

Please love, don’t break my heart

Commenced: 10th October, 2016

Concluded: 15th October, 2016

Darkness inside/Depression

It’s so easy for people to walk away

When I can’t find the words to express the things I need to say

When inside I feel a sadness

Could it be a type of madness?

Overwhelming with its force

Stifling my discourse

Help me…but I can’t tell you how

Perhaps you can’t for I have much doubt

After all, how can you battle a monster unseen?

One that seems to be rooted so deep inside of me?

I guess this is my battle. I must fight this war.

I’m sorry that you also have to bare this monster’s scars

The pressure building in my head won’t let me be

Emotions screaming “Fight it off!  Joy is right here, just set it free!”

Let me be!

“Set it free!”

Let me be! I can’t see!

“Don’t give up now!  Set it free!”

“Light the darkness.  Be happy!”

1st January, 2017


On my own

I thought we were a team

I thought we’d grow together

Instead I’m left alone while you go outside and train on your own

I’m confused

but why should I be bemused?

I’ve never met a man who wants to train with his mate outside of YouTube

A couple training together – I thought this could be

Maybe the problem is me

Perhaps I’m just naive

Visions of a false reality

I thought you’d hold my hand

Lift me up with you

I did not imagine being left feeling askew

Now feelings of abandonment hold me down

I’m sitting inside with a bag of chips, the crunching just barely muffling your training sounds

I guess I must face reality

I’ll have to keep searching for motivation within me

No, I will not cry

Knowing now on you I cannot rely

I’ll just get through this binging phase like I always eventually do

And get back to working out consistently…


I hope

18th December, 2016

Written during a moment of insecurity.    This could have easily started a downward spiral but thankfully it didn’t even though I don’t think I ever told him how I was feeling that day.  Communication is so important in relationships.  Although I didn’t communicate how I felt, writing about it and getting the feelings out was helpful.  Deep down I knew the thoughts were coming from insecure feelings…I recognize that in the line talking about abandonment.  Reading this I feel kinda bad about having ever felt that way but I know better now…Max really IS super supportive.  

1st November, 2017